The Hush Sound – Wine Red
Who would have thought that a band loved by both Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco could actually be good? Certainly not me, which is why it was such a surprise to discover The Hush Sound. I spotted them in the top 10 bands on MySpace (although they’ve now slipped to no.32) and, since I’d never heard of them and they didn’t look too scary, I clicked and soon found myself throughly enjoying their album sampler. It was only after reading a little more about them I found out the horrible truth about their connections to wimpy rockers, but hopefully as soon as they have a hit album, as their MySpace popularity and general aceness suggests they will, they’ll announce that they never liked Fall Out Boy anyway and just used them to get to the top, and everyone will admire their cunning and live happily ever after. Until then, enjoy this pretty video and see if you agree that they sound like the younger siblings of Nina Persson and Ben Folds and a group of their geekiest friends.

The Ark – One Of Us Is Gonna Die Young (US version)
Here’s a new version of one of The Ark’s greatest hits, which they hope will be their breakthrough single in America. They are actually quite popular there considering their Swedishness, but I doubt they will ever become a huge act, mainly because there is so much competition for a rock band in America, and unlike The Hush Sound, I don’t think Ola Salo, a unique and slightly insane extrovert who is a real gay, not just faking androgyny to get attention, would get on that well with thingummy-bob and whatever his name is from Fall Out Boy and P!ATD. Even if you don’t like rock music, give The Ark a chance because they are the antidote to all the generic rubbish that every 14-year-old seems to love at the moment.

Shebang – Sheena Is A Punkrocker
This seems to be turning into a bit of a rock special, not at all on purpose! Luckily, Shebang are another act who manage to undermine everything the typical rock fan holds dear. They cover this track by the Ramones, making it into a poptastic sing-along, neither of the two members so much as touching a guitar or any other instrument in the process. Maybe if the Ramones had got young Swedish girls to sing on all their songs, then I wouldn’t laugh at every conformatively unique teenager (or, even worse, grown-up adult) in a Ramones t-shirt. Admittedly, I too own a Ramones t-shirt, but I only realised this 2 years after I bought it (which I did because it had the name of a Teddybears Sthlm single on it) and of course I haven’t worn it since then.

Arash ft. Rebecca – Temptation
One of the best summer singles of last year was this piece of sunny ethnic fabulousless by Persian/Swedish singer Arash and a previously unknown young lady named Rebecca. I actually got to see them do this live last year when I went on holiday to Goteborg and it was entirely ace, as expected. It’s a shame Arash hasn’t become popular in the UK, because it would be great to hear this on the radio on a sunny day like today and pretend we were somewhere exotic and not boring old England.

Fefe Dobson Interview on TRL
Poor Fefe, ever underrated and yet so very ace. I think the reason for her lack of success is her seeming unapproachableness – her singing voice is quite harsh and tough (but perfectly fits her girl power persona) and she’s no pretty blonde with short skirts and miniature dogs, again because that’s who she is the antithesis too. Girls like Lindsay and Hilary try to be rock chicks but it just doesn’t work because they are too boring, weak and simply not believable. Fefe has real teenage angst and as this interview shows she is genuine, normal and seems to be brilliant fun. She also has way better songs than the skinny blondes could even dream of, especially on her second album which was postponed continually until she was very unfairly dropped last month. Hopefully she will make a comeback somehow, but until then we have loads of great music to enjoy, particularly her recent singles Don’t Let It Go To Your Head and This Is My Life.

Now, this week’s top 5:

5. Madonna – Get Together
4. Elize – Into Your System
3. Justin Timberlake – Sexy/Back
2. Lily Allen – Smile
1. JoJo – Too Little Too Late

But since the video for this song has not yet been released, here instead is Jojo’s Swedish counterpart, Amy Diamond, performing her most recent single Don’t Cry Your Heart Out live and very impressively on TV.

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